When Gino Francesconi arrived in New York to study conducting in 1974,  one of his first stops was Carnegie Hall. “Because this was where I was  going to make it. I wanted to see this hall,” he recalls.
But when the San Francisco native entered the lobby, he  was sure he was in the wrong place. “It was dark, it was dingy, there  was litter on the floor, and it was small. I didn’t realize that it was  bigger than most Broadway lobbies,” he says, laughing, “so I walked into  the box office, and, talk about green, I said to the guy, ‘Excuse me,  is there another Carnegie Hall around here?’ And he said, without  missing a beat, ‘How many Carnegie Halls do you want, buddy?’ And it’s  just kind of funny, because there it was, it was all you needed to hear.  I didn’t know what it looked like, but I knew what it meant.”
Francesconi  has since become intimately familiar with nearly every nook and cranny  of Carnegie Hall. Its first and only archivist, he is the concert hall’s  walking encyclopedia, a catalog of everything from encounters with  legendary artists and landmark performances to obscure facts about the  building and behind-the-scenes trivia. But the position is one that he  never would have envisioned for himself when he came to New York with  dreams of performing on the stage.
Keep reading “Maestro of Memories” …

When Gino Francesconi arrived in New York to study conducting in 1974, one of his first stops was Carnegie Hall. “Because this was where I was going to make it. I wanted to see this hall,” he recalls.

But when the San Francisco native entered the lobby, he was sure he was in the wrong place. “It was dark, it was dingy, there was litter on the floor, and it was small. I didn’t realize that it was bigger than most Broadway lobbies,” he says, laughing, “so I walked into the box office, and, talk about green, I said to the guy, ‘Excuse me, is there another Carnegie Hall around here?’ And he said, without missing a beat, ‘How many Carnegie Halls do you want, buddy?’ And it’s just kind of funny, because there it was, it was all you needed to hear. I didn’t know what it looked like, but I knew what it meant.”

Francesconi has since become intimately familiar with nearly every nook and cranny of Carnegie Hall. Its first and only archivist, he is the concert hall’s walking encyclopedia, a catalog of everything from encounters with legendary artists and landmark performances to obscure facts about the building and behind-the-scenes trivia. But the position is one that he never would have envisioned for himself when he came to New York with dreams of performing on the stage.

Keep reading “Maestro of Memories” …